Yahoo Answers Expansion & Integration into Yahoo Search Results
Since its launch, the Yahoo Answers program has been seen as a concrete example of how user generated content and participation can lead, in some cases, to better and more relevant search results. It has been five months since the launch of the Yahoo Answers community Q & A service, and within this short period of time the program has become a success among Yahoo users, with last week marking the 10 millionth answer to a question on Yahoo Answers.
Marking the occasion, and answering the calls of other search engines which are gearing up to challenge Yahoo in the social search market, the Yahoo Answers team has announced on the Yahoo Search Blog that integration of Yahoo Answers into the Yahoo Search results pages is beginning to take place.
Do a search on Yahoo! and you’ll see how questions and answers are being surfaced within results. Every day, someone out there has a question, and someone out there knows the answer and gives it for free. Just because helping someone by sharing what you know is a reward in itself.
We are starting to see a shift in search technology from a world dominated by algorithms and machines exclusively to search results made better through people.
Yahoo Answers have already been integrated into vertical search and content sections of Yahoo, as the opinions of local residents can be an obvious substitution when asking for restaurant recommendations in Yahoo Local over the already relevant search rankings & reviews.
There is also a forum-esque integration into the new Yahoo Tech channel, supplementing the organic results on a search for “Harley Davidson” and Q&A integration into Yahoo Groups; which is probably undergoing its own reformation in the near future.
Yahoo also says that their strong user bases in Yahoo Japan, Korea, Taiwan and also Yahoo China is adding to the wealth of the community, and the Answers program has also recently spread to UK, Canada, Australia, and India with language support for countries such as Spain, Germany and France coming soon.
Yahoo also says a goal of the Yahoo Answers service is better integration of Yahoo Babelfish, which would someday bring the availability to ask a question in English, and have someone in China, France or Korea read and answer it in their own native language – once all of the lost in translation kinks get sorted out.
Regardless, the deeper integration of Yahoo Answers into Web Search and Niche Search results on Yahoo shows that Yahoo has quite the gem under their saddles for a long ride ahead of achieving a human powered and machine driven relevant search algorithmic experience.
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We’re going to continue making product updates that will improve content quality and make it easier to find answers to your questions, whether it’s in the search results or easier question categorization. As always, please don’t hesitate to tell us what you would like to see next. As many of our most active users can attest, a number of our best current features came directly from their suggestions.
People will continue to make search results better – not just the people developing the search technology or the content from web sites being crawled and indexed, but people from all walks of life who happen to have the answer you need, when you need it.